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346                                    ETYMOLOGY OF LOCAL NAMES,
expedition is also stated in the papers to have reached Leh vi&Khotan,
and Nohj by the easternmost pass over the Kuen-lun mountains. Upon this point
I may hope to acquire more definite information hereafter; the best maps
published up to the present time throw no light on the matter, for though they
give the towns of Kiria and Khotan, they do' not show Noh, and its existence
therefore requires confirmation. The three places in this neighbourhood all agree
in being evidently of great antiquity, and also in the fact that each is close to
a large sheet of water.   The lake, or morass, at Noh jhil spreads in some years
over an area measuring as much as six miles in length by one in breadth. It is
no doubt to a great extent of artificial formation, having been excavated fortlie
double purpose of supplying earth, with which to build the fort, and also of ren-
dering it inaccessible when built.    The inundated appearance of the country
combines with the name to suggest a reminiscence of the Biblical Deluge and the
Patriarch Noah.   The proper spelling of his name, as Mr. Blochmann informed
me, is Niih, with the vowel £ and the Arabic h, while Badaoni, who twice* men-
tions the town, in both places spells it with the imperceptible li; in the Xin-i-
Akbarij however, which herein agrees with invariable modern usage, the final
• letter is the Arabic L   But if a reference to the Delqge were intended, the
word Noh would not have been used simply by itself; standing as it does, it
can scarcely he other than the name  of the founder.    Now (to quote Mr,
Blochmann again) u Muhammadans use the name Null extremely rarely.   Xdam,
Musi, Yusuf, and Ayub are common ; but on looking over my lists of saints,
companions of Mohammad, and other worthies of Isl/im, I do not find a single
person with the name Null; and hence I would look upon a connection of Noh
with Noah as very problematical   I would rather connect it with the Persian
nuhj 'nine,* which when lengthened becomes noh, not null; as the Persian dih^
ca village4/ becomes de!*n not efiL"   But if we abandon the Semitic name, it
will he better, considering the purely Hindu character of the country, to try
and fall back upon some Sanskrit root, and I am inclined to regard the name
as a Ifiihammadan corruption of nava—not the adjective meaning £ new,* but a
proper name—and with the 7i added either purposely to mark the distinction,
or inadvertently in the same way as rdjd is in Persian characters incorrectly
written rtj/a/t.   In the Harivansa (line 167?)  mention is  made of a king
TJsliinara, of the family of Kaksheyu, who had five wives, Nriga, Kriinij Nav&,
Darvii, and DrlshadvatL   They bore him each one son, and the boys were
» Once m ihe acme of a fight Isetwcen Ikbal Kk»n and Sisanaa Khan of Bayana (A- H. 802>
an! *g»ia ai the place where MuMrafc SMh crossed the Jaawai lor J*rto!if